OCT 25, 2018 1:00 PM PDT

Sedentary Lifestyle More Deadly Than Smoking

WRITTEN BY: Abbie Arce

Some recent studies have found adverse cardiovascular associations with regular high-intensity exercise. In these studies, researchers found higher instances of atrial fibrillation, coronary artery calcification, myocardial fibrosis and aortic dilatation associated with extreme levels of fitness. These studies raise questions about what level of exercise, if any, is beneficial to a person's health. 

The findings also cast doubt on the use of exercise in preventative medicine. This misinformation is especially dangerous in the face of much scientific evidence indicating that heart disease, amongst other chronic illnesses, is not only preventable through the use of exercise prescription but is even reversible. 

In response to this research, which seems to cast exercise into a negative light, a study was published Friday in the journal JAMA Open Network. This new study’s objective was to assess the association between all-cause mortality and cardiorespiratory fitness levels in patients who had been administered treadmill fitness testing.

In this study, 122,007 adult patients who had been referred for treadmill stress testing were grouped by age and sex. Patients were then arranged into groups based on their levels of cardiovascular fitness. The five performance groups as defined by researchers were: low, below average, above average, high and elite. Of those included in the final cohort, 13,637 patients died throughout the study’s 8.4-year median (4.3-13.4 year) follow up period. 

It is important to mention that patients with advanced coronary artery disease may not be referred to fitness testing if they are unable to reach 85% exercise intensity during a treadmill fitness test. Therefore the benefits for these high-risk patients were not analyzed by this study. Patients who were excluded also include those for whom sex data was unavailable and those who underwent pharmacological stress testing.

Exercise tests on treadmills are the most widely used methods of testing cardiorespiratory failure in patients. Exercise physiologists generally administer these tests in hospital fitness labs according to a set of strict guidelines. This data is an exceptional source of information for researchers. This is because the statistical evidence was objectively sourced in a clinical setting rather than having been collected from self-report questionnaires, which are notoriously inaccurate. 

Researchers found that all-cause mortality is inversely related to cardiorespiratory fitness levels and risk was the lowest in the “elite“ fitness groups. In addition to finding a significantly reduced risk of mortality, the data seems to indicate no upper limit to the benefits of cardiovascular exercise. Even those who were classed as ‘elite” exercisers had a reduced risk of all-cause mortality compared to those in the “high” exercise groups. Also revealed was that the risks to the lowest fitness level participants were comparable or more dangerous than traditionally monitored clinical risk characteristics like coronary artery disease, smoking, and diabetes.

This information means patients who are not exercisers should be considered at-risk more so than previously thought. In the case that a patient is sedentary, it would be advantageous of a physician to prescribe appropriate fitness regimens to protect and improve health. 

Another interesting take away from the study is that persons of all ages found enhanced health with exercise. These findings leave no excuse for those concerned about their quality of life and wellbeing. Exercise comes in so many modalities that there is something right for everyone. So what will you be doing today to keep yourself active and healthy?

Sources: Journal Of The American Medical Association

 

 

About the Author
  • Abbie is an AFAA certified personal trainer and fitness instructor with an interest in all things health-science. She has recently graduated with her BS in Applied Sport and Exercise Science from Barry University in Miami. Next, she intends to earn an MPH with a focus in Epidemiology.
You May Also Like
SEP 29, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
Cycling Molecules into Drug Candidates
SEP 29, 2020
Cycling Molecules into Drug Candidates
Statistics show that just 1 in 5,000 drug candidates ever makes it from the lab to the pharmacy. In a process that can t ...
OCT 01, 2020
Cardiology
Investigating Inflammation in Coronary Artery Bypass Grafts
OCT 01, 2020
Investigating Inflammation in Coronary Artery Bypass Grafts
The heart is a vital part of the body that can last one hundred years, yet even a small change can cause massive consequ ...
SEP 28, 2020
Genetics & Genomics
Why Some Young, Healthy People Get Severe COVID-19
SEP 28, 2020
Why Some Young, Healthy People Get Severe COVID-19
Since the start of the pandemic, scientists have been trying to find out why some people get such severe illness from SA ...
OCT 07, 2020
Cancer
Delivering Cancer Drugs to Osteosarcoma with Nanoparticles
OCT 07, 2020
Delivering Cancer Drugs to Osteosarcoma with Nanoparticles
Over the years, cancer researchers have struggled not just with drug and diagnostic design, but with drug delivery. The ...
OCT 15, 2020
Microbiology
WHO Data Suggests Remdesivir Has No Effect on COVID-19 Infections
OCT 15, 2020
WHO Data Suggests Remdesivir Has No Effect on COVID-19 Infections
While the study has not yet been peer-reviewed, an International consortium including researchers has come to the conclu ...
OCT 22, 2020
Microbiology
SARS-CoV-2 Has Multiple Routes Into Cells
OCT 22, 2020
SARS-CoV-2 Has Multiple Routes Into Cells
Since the pandemic virus SARS-CoV-2 emerged on the scene late last year, it's left a trail of devastation around the glo ...
Loading Comments...